Pacers sign 2018 second-round pick Alize Johnson

Alize Johnson, Pacers, 2018 NBA Draft

The 2018 NBA Draft was less than four weeks ago and he already suited up in five summer league games for the Indiana Pacers.

But Monday was a memorable day for Alize Johnson, the Pacers’ second-round pick (50th) out of Missouri State, because he signed his first NBA contract.

He becomes the 14th player under contract, leaving the franchise with one open roster spot.

The Summer Pacers recently returned from Las Vegas, where Johnson, along with first-round pick Aaron Holiday, impressed in their first showing against NBA-level competition.

Johnson is an instinctive rebounder with a nose for the ball. He’s always in motion, playing with a high-level motor. And he’s beginning to gain confidence from beyond the arc. Johnson averaged 12.4 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game with the Summer Pacers. He shot 43 percent from the field.

He has point guard skills … because he was a 5-foot-9 point guard when he started high school. Then, he grew a foot and is now listed at 6-foot-9, 219 pounds.

“For him, his big thing is getting on the floor and playing minutes,” said summer league coach Steve Gansey. “The fact that he can play multiple positions is huge. He can play the three, four, even the five out here in the tournament and even in the G League. His versatility is big.

Alize Johnson, Pacers, 2018 NBA Draft

2018 Pacers draft picks Alize Johnson and Aaron Holiday playing pick-and-roll defense.

“He plays with a chip on his shoulder. He plays with energy. One of the reasons why the Pacers drafted him was because of his high motor.”

Johnson, who plans to get stronger in his upper body and legs before the season, said he has had several conversations with Pacers head coach Nate McMillan.

“He just told me to keep doing what I’m doing and everything else will take care of itself,” Johnson said in Las Vegas. “He wants me to shooting the ball a lot more from the three-point line so I’m going to start mixing that into my game. That’s pretty much it, to keep the energy up and keep cheering on everybody.”

Johnson, who will wear No. 24, shared the following photo and message on Instagram:

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